For me, nothing says Friday like pizza. I think it’s because of my Aunt Kaye. When I was seventeen, I moved clear across the country to live with my aunt and uncle so I could establish residency in another state. I ended up not liking the state one little bit and threw in the towel about four months later. You’re probably saying at this point, get to the pizza. So anyway, my aunt brought home carry out pizza every single Friday night. I loved it. It was a great way to end the week.
Unfortunately, take out pizza places rarely cater to whole food eating hippies. Boo. Never fear though if you find yourself in our situation. Thanks to my sister, Sarah, and my good friend, the internet, I’ve put together an absolutely wonderful winning combination of crust and sauce to make any pizza lover rejoice — hippie or not.
Here’s the proof, just last week we had pizza. Taryn was headed out to a pizza party of all things later that night but had just a quick bite with us before she had to leave. The next day she commented that our pizza was so much better than anything else out there. Everyone readily agreed with her assessment with one exception — the pizza we had while visiting Times Square in New York. Not bad considering we were in New York, eating pizza a cool thing in and of itself and then add on top of that we were practically starving. Sorry, I digress once again. Enough of the chat.
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon organic sugar
Combine water, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let it sit for about five minutes. It should get all bubbly. Mix 2 cups of flour, the salt and remaining sugar in a stand mixer. Add the yeast and olive oil. Begin mixing with the paddle attachment and then switch to the dough hook or knead by hand for about 5 minutes. Slowly add the rest of the flour. Shape the dough into a ball and allow to rise for about 45 minutes to one hour.
Punch down the risen dough and roll out on a pizza stone (we’re not the fancy) or a greased baking sheet. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and add your sauce (see below) and toppings. Bake for about 10-15 minutes depending on how crispy you like your crust.
Sarah’s Super Easy, Super Yummy Pizza Sauce
15 ounces organic tomato sauce (we get ours from Costco)
6 ounces of organic tomato paste (again Costco)
3-5 Tablespoons organic sugar
minced garlic to taste (we usually start with about a Tablespoon and go from there.)
Italian seasoning or oregano to taste
seasoning salt to taste
Mix it all together and you’re good to go.
Just a couple of tips. Don’t try and spread the crust too thin. The above recipe makes one nice pizza. We usually double or sometimes even triple the recipe if friends are coming over. Depending on how much sauce you like on your pizza you’ll have enough for around three pizzas. This stuff stores and freezes really well, so don’t be afraid of making too much.
Dang, now I want pizza. I may have to change up my weekly menu a bit.